Yesterday, in my body image / eating concerns group we discussed …. body image, believe it or not. We discussed the media, the problems with the BMI system, the non-existence of most “women” seen in advertisements, etc. We watched some videos from the Dove Campaign and we listed out the traits we associate with “super models” and the life qualities they seem to embody through advertisement. Through these lists, we were able to illuminate the false correlation between being “model esque” and happy, successful, loved, etc. Not to mention, the (lack of) relevance being intelligent, creative, kind-hearted, or productive seems to have on the lives of these so-called “perfect” women. There were four of us present today, five including our therapist, and it was raw, it was rough, it was rewarding.
I don’t really feel like going over it, honestly. While I’ve been working really hard at keeping my own behaviors under control, I have good days, I have bad days, I have days where I’m not concerned about it at all….Lately, my body image seems stuck in the simply “alright” category, paired with much hounding over how little of my time I’ve been devoting to exercising. I was doing an hour of Pilates four-five days a week just last month. Now I run twice a week, on a good week.
That isn’t even the point. Honestly, I’ve been self-conscious not necessarily about my looks (though, more and more every day I try to minimize the amount of times I have to look into a mirror), I haven’t stepped on the scale in weeks (I’m afraid to, and there isn’t much point, anyway.) Instead, I’ve been concerned with my so-called “eccentric” personality and habits. I don’t think I’m an ill-mannered person, I think I have some degree of social awareness, but there are days when I feel judged by persons making up my surroundings, not only on campus but in the greater Seattle area….A friend told me the other day that he “would have gotten bored of me weeks ago, except for the fact that nothing I do is normal.” Sometimes, I really do feel like I’m from a different planet, and that should be and is a good thing, I must believe that, but it can’t be a great thing until I learn to not only embrace it but harness it for good and creative ends as well.
Now, I know virtually everyone is absurd in their own way, we’re all unique, and defining “normal” is as futile a task as intelligent discussion with Todd Akin probably is. I don’t mean this to be a pity party, but living in this city is just such a weird thing for me, still. I I feel like I still have much of the Las Vegas lingo ingrained into my personality and my shoes are falling apart, yet I go to Seattle University and have a 3.8 GPA. I drink my water out of a mason jar and shop at the central coop yet I can’t sing along to every Nirvana song that’s ever been written, nor could I tell you the first thing about the latest musical trends as seen on Pitchfork. I hang out at the Northwest Film Forum yet I’ve never seen The Godfather all the way through, and I have a talent for all things writing yet only learned to pronounce the word “succumb” about a year ago.
I know everyone struggles with these day to day nuances of fitting in yet maintaining individuality and keeping up yet honestly assessing one’s own interests, strengths and weaknesses. I get it, these things are not unique to me and yet …. I’m so radically honest, I don’t want to play “the game”, I’m painfully self-aware and independent to the point where I not only isolate myself too much but refuse to keep up with trends for the sake of impressing you in conversation. At the same time, I have a profound need to outdo you in conversation. I can’t relate to my peers, yet I’m too young for the older crowd because apparently, people from the older crowd don’t even expect me to know Fleetwood Mac.
Sometimes, I just feel like I can’t win and that I might actually sprout wings, horns, or turn green, or something. I’ve been bullied for being “weird” since elementary school, and maybe I should just accept that that isn’t really something that just stops, no matter how “mature” or “old” or “enlightened” the rest of the world supposedly grows. Not to mention, I’m an individual, right? I give zero hoots what other people think, right? I’m friends with fascinating, dynamic, and ethereal individuals who love me simply because I’m such a nutter, yet that isn’t always enough and I still can’t quite figure out how it all makes sense … being so unconcerned with what other people think on the one hand; being so painfully upset by the slightest instance of rejection or even off-putting behavior directed your way on the other. Even when said behaviors come from people you neither admire nor even respect! In some (many) cases.
Some self-love seems to be in order, before this little “I’m too strange for the world” crisis of mine spirals out of my control. I really am trying to come to terms with all things “Dalyce.” I took this from Madison (Eating 4 Balance) and really appreciated most of the media she included, so I’ve preserved that as well. Madison, if you ever read this, I hope you don’t mind!
What is normal anyways?
1. What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago? I can engage in a conversation that begins with my least favorite question, “What do you do?” Sounds elementary, but I used to abhor this question (still do in a lot of ways, but I’m learning to embrace it as a part of reality.) Not only that, but though it’s still a struggle, I can even participate in this conversation without self-deprecating, and I’m on my way to figuring out how I can do this without revealing too many negatives about my past and up-bringing.
2. What has been on your mind most lately? Europe. Nebraska. Politics. Individuality. Romance. Writing. Possibility. How people connect. How people don’t connect. How I’m probably from Titan. How I’m not actually. How I’m restless and dreamy as ever and lately, and how I want to be anywhere but here.
3. Right now, at this moment, what do you want most? To be finished with school, to be a paid and valued copy editor on some book / website / blog / newsletter related to the arts, to live in a more ideally located apartment with my best friend, to know how to speak French, to move to Europe, etc. etc. etc.
4. In order of importance, how would you rank: happiness, money, love, health, fame?Health, love, happiness, money, fame. If that feels like a strange order, here’s my reasoning: There is no happiness without love, and no love without health. Money is, unfortunately, often required for health, but it is not a good thing in and of itself, and fame would just stress me the fuck out.
5. What word best describes how you’ve spent the last month of your life? Avoiding. <– going to keep Madison’s answer, unfortunately this is true for me, too.
6. What is the number one motivator in your life right now? Knowing that I have love and support in my life, and that while I may go through elongated struggles, I’m going to graduate soon, I’m going to find a fulfilling job, I’m going to be able to travel, I’m going to learn to harness my creativity and make documentary films and I will get healthy and fit and run marathons and climb mountains and everything’s going to be okay.
7. In one sentence, who are you? I am Dalyce — radically honest, profoundly independent, painfully self-aware, deeply but secretly loving, frustratingly inconsistent, and incomparably passionate though only in waves.
8. What do you want to be known for? Being real, being wise, being understanding.
9. If you had to move 300 miles away, what would you miss the most? Everything about this city is breath-taking and amazing to me, so I would miss the city itself. Other than that, there are definitely one to two humans from whom I really don’t wish to part…..
10. In one year from today, how do you think your life will be different? If you know me at all, you know I resent the thought of projecting or expecting anything about the future, the future to me meaning what I may or may not be eating for dinner this evening. So, keeping true to that but while attempting to remain hopeful and optimistic, let’s say I’ll live in a more ideal situation, I’ll be more fit, I’ll have a healthier relationship with my self and with food, I’ll be a better cook, and I’ll be writing / copy-editing consistently.
Okay, I think that’s all for now. This survey is considerably longer, and I’ll probably fill out the rest at some point because it’s important that I maintain constantly that sense of who I am, what I think, what I want, where I’ve come from, where I intend to go, etc. etc. and while some of these questions may or may not feel generic, they’re exercises and it helps. Off for a run and a mini trip to the grocery store, have a great day. I leave you with one of my favorite songs, though do note it’s not my favorite performance of the thing.